Live More Now: Goals & Motivation

Disclaimer: I received three Buff products to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

This post is part 1 of 3 in my Live More Now series.  

After giving birth to my first child, I purposely did not set any lofty fitness expectations for myself. I was out of shape from pregnancy and a few months of bed rest/reduced activity and was recovering from a c-section. I certainly wasn’t about to sign up for an ultra.

And guess what? This fun pregnancy business didn’t end when my baby was born and I didn’t get my body back away. Because there was this adorable little creature sucking all the nutrition out of me

Don’t get me wrong, I love nursing my child and all the benefits associated with it. However, breastfeeding (for me anyway) means that my body is full of hormones, I’m burning more calories, and I dehydrate way more easily.

For the first while, I woke up every morning feeling like I had arthritis in my hands. It wasn’t excruciating but enough that it would sometimes wake me up and prevent me from falling back asleep. I also had trouble with my shoulder when doing things like taking off a sports bra over my head. And worst of all, my knees and hips were more tender and susceptible to injury. Eventually these things subsided and despite continuing to nurse, I’m now getting to a place where my body is finally starting to feel more “normal” again.

An opportunity came up in April through BibRave to test out a few Buff products while tackling some goals. By this time the days were getting longer and I was excited to spend more time outside with my maternity leave buddies, my baby and my dog. I’m not solely motivated by the prospect of new gear but it definitely helps!

So I expressed my interest in participating but told them that I didn’t have any lofty plans. I just wanted to get out for more walks, hopefully hit the trails, and maybe even a get in tail-end-of-the-season easy front country snowshoe.

Full-blown summer came swiftly and by the time I received the products so the snowshoe was out (although I did see some snow). However, I have managed to get moving and achieve some even better goals.

Up next: I’ll tell you about the three Buff products that I received.

Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones

Disclaimer: I received Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’ve tried a few pairs of bluetooth headphones for running over the years but the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium ($129.95 CAD) are my new favourites. And they couldn’t have come at a better time.

Unlike most headphones, the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium use bone conduction technology which sits over your ear lobe instead if in your ear. This means you can still hear what’s going on around you, which is HUGE for safety. I even feel comfortable running with a stroller along busy streets while listening to music or audiobooks. You can’t exactly carry on a conversation with someone but you can easily hear important sounds like sirens, cars honking, or yelling.

The trade off is that sound quality isn’t mind blowing, and seems to vary depending on how the sit on your ears. But it’s more than adequate for listening to some tunes on the run. The Aftershokz Trekz Titanium also contain dual noise canceling microphones for handsfree calling. At the press of a button, you can utilize voice commands to dial a number or, if you have an iPhone like me, you can ask Siri to check your messages, the weather, etc.

The headphones themselves are super lightweight and flexible. It took a short time to get used to the fit and feel of the open ear design but now are comfortable. They are designed to repel sweat, dust, and moisture, which is a must for our rainy Vancouver climate.

I, of course, chose the slate grey colour because I’m super boring like that. But they also come in pink, ocean blue, and “ivy” green (looks like more of a lime green to me) if you are feeling colourful.

Once unboxed, I had the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium set up and synced with my phone in minutes. The instructions are simple and the controls are easy to use. There are just three buttons: volume up/power, volume down, and a multifunction button. I haven’t performed a test yet but the specifications state 6 hours hours of continuous play / 10 days of standby time per charge. They charge in 1.5 hours using a micro USB cable (provided).

Win a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium!

In celebration of Canada Day, Aftershokz is giving one lucky Canadian some of their favourite products in (you guessed it!) RED. Enter now at canadaday.aftershokz.ca!

Giveaway ends 6/29 at 11:59PM ET. Must be eighteen years or older and be a resident of Canada to enter.

Prizes:

  • AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones in red (1)
  • AfterShokz Sport Belt in red (1)
  • AfterShokz Water Bottle in red (1)
  • AfterShokz Towel (1)
  • AfterShokz hat (1)

Smartwool Women’s Double Propulsion 60 Pullover

I spent most of my pregnancy sweating in the heat of the summer and now that I’m ready to be outside and active again, it’s winter. Well, Vancouver winter anyway … which means rain, and lots of it! This normally wouldn’t deter me but I doubt it’s recommended to spend hours in the cold and rain with a newborn.

Side note: I’ve had neighbours and strangers say that they are surprised we’re outside at all, even for short walks on beautiful days.

Due this less-than-ideal weather as well as couple months of bedrest, recovering from a c-section, and caring for a newborn baby, I’m not where I had hoped to be in terms of fitness postpartum. But that’s okay! I’m not in a huge rush to return to my previous ultra running lifestyle, however, it does feel good to be moving again.

Luckily we had some sunshine this past couple weeks and there’s nothing quite like new gear to motivate me to get outside. So I put on my Smartwool Women’s Double Propulsion 60 Pullover and my 12 lb weight vest (Baby R in her carrier), and we took off on some long walks and even a short hike.

Cowl neck with asymmetrical snap closure
Subtle zippered kangaroo pocket

I’m ashamed to say with all my outdoor adventures over the past few years, I own surprisingly little merino wool. As the cold weather rolls in, I’ve been hearing more and more recommendations touting the benefits – it’s warm AND it wicks moisture away from your skin, whether it’s sweat or rain.

The Smartwool pullover has merino wool on the inside with additional layers of SmartLoft wool insulation and wind-resistant polyester with DWR finish covering most of the outside. The sides and under the arms are only the merino wool layer for venting and breathability.

When you are radiating heat and also have a baby radiating heat strapped to you, you quickly learn to appreciate a garment that can regulate temperature and moisture – especially because removing a layer is a surprisingly difficult endeavour with a baby carrier and particularly so when on your own.

A cold and foggy day by the river.
Black and grey - my favourite colours!

The pullover is super comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and the fit is perfect. It has a surprisingly convincing grey, woven print on the weather resistant fabric to give it a textured look.

It’s also easy to wash – just throw it in the machine on cold (which is how I do basically all my laundry) and then tumble dry low (yay, I don’t have to hang dry). The things you appreciate when your have a never-ending pile of laundry to be done.

… But my FAVOURITE feature is the zippered kangaroo pocket. I’ve never seen this before but I love it! I am always throwing important items in my pocket like money or my phone, so zippers are a must. And who doesn’t love a kangaroo sweater?

It's colder than it looks outside.
Love the textured look of this pullover!

I just have one question for Smartwool or anyone else that can answer. What are the bum zippers for? There are small zippers on both sides on the bottom of the back. Is this to fit the garment over bulky snow pants? Or to provide a little extra room in case my butt expands? I’ve never seen this before.

In any event, I can already tell this will become a staple for outdoor adventures. The only thing missing (in my humble opinion) is thumb holes.